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1st stage of Approval and Health Card
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Posted - 06/12/2007 :  12:09:26  Show Profile
Hi everyone,

My wife is a canadian citizen and she is sponsoring me to become a permanent resident. Our application was sent in October 2006 and a few days ago we have received the so-called "First Stage of Approval" letter.

I am angry because I feel I was lied to. Indeed I was told my immigration agents that once passed the First Stage of Approval, I could work, and I could get health insurance.

But the letter I received doesn't state anything like that.
It only says that they have determined I have met the eligibility requirements (woa big surprise) but a final decision would not be made as long as the medical and security checks were not complete.
For now it says I can only apply for an open work permit or study permit.

Okay, so that means I have not yet met the medical requirements.

My problem is that when you apply for a health card, you must provide proof of your eligibility, and that means your permanent resident card (dont have any) or a letter of immigration canada stating you have met the medical requirements (dont have any).

Does that mean I was lied to, and you can't get a health card yet and have to wait for the whole immigration process to be complete?

The same problem comes with a social insurance number. This first stage of approval doesnt allow me to get a SIN. Only to get a work permit, which obviously is a proof required to get a SIN.


If anyone has been through the First Stage of Approval and could share his knowledge of the subject with me, I would greatly appreciate.

I try to join CIC but it's difficult, since I do not have a telephone.

Can I get a health card with the first stage of approval passed? Can I get a SIN?


22 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2007 :  17:21:20  Show Profile
Actually you don't need a PR card to apply to get the Ontario Health Insurance coverage (OHIP).
All you need is a letter from the call centre of Immigration Canada that confirms that they received your immigration medical tests and the AIP letter (that you just received), confirming that you met the requirements and eligible to apply for landed immigration.

If you took the medical tests already and sent it to them more than 6 months ago the tests might have expired. If you did not, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a doctor in your area that appears on the immigration Canada list and get the tests done.

As for a Work Permit. I had the same experience and felt cheated, getting only Approval In Principle after 9 months when some people got permanent residence after less than 6 months. However, you have no rights in this immigration process and no guarantees either. I suggest that you do like me, pay, grudgingly, the additional 150$ and apply for the open work permit and start working.
After you get the work permit by mail you can go to a Service Canada booth in your city and they will issue you a SIN card.

Unfortunately, it might be very long before you get your permanent residence because security checks might take years... let's hope that that will not be the case but you definitely want to work before immigration Canada gets around to conclude your file.

I am married to a Canadian, have a Master's degree from a Canadian University, worked and lived in Canada for almost 6 years but am still waiting for immigration Canada to conclude my case after a year and three months.


1195 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2007 :  15:58:23  Show Profile
No, you were not lied to, but perhaps the people you spoke to didn't explain the facts clearly or you have misinterpreted.

If your inland application has reached first stage approval, you are eligible to apply for a work or study permit if you wish to. For the work permit, as Paradigm indicated, it will cost $150 and takes about 34 days to process.

Once you have your open work permit in hand, you can go to the nearest Service Canada office and apply for your temporary SIN card. You don't actually need your SIN card to start working, but most employers will need your SIN number to put you on the payroll.

As for OHIP coverage, as Paradigm already explained, you are eligible to apply for OHIP once you have 1) passed your medical examination, and 2) been granted approval in principle. If you submitted your medical examination upfront with your inland PR application, the medical results are probably available. If you call the CIC call centre, you can ask them to check whether you've passed your medical, and if you have, you can ask them to mail you a "medical pass" letter. Once you have this letter, walk into a OHIP offce with both your medical pass letter and your AIP letter and apply for your health card. Your OHIP coverage won't start until 3 months after your AIP date or medical pass date, whichever is later.


1 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2007 :  00:36:02  Show Profile
Does anyone have any idea how long does the complete process for permanet resident status under the categorie spouse or common in law in Canada?
we sent the application in december 2005 and I just have received the first approval last year.


1195 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2007 :  17:45:35  Show Profile
There is no standard timeline for PR application in Canada. It really depends on how quickly your three admissibility checks (medical, criminality, background) get done. Once all three checks are done and passed, they will make a decision on your application and grant you PR at a landing interview scheduled by the local CIC office.


48 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2007 :  21:00:55  Show Profile
What wongn says is true, six years ago when my wife sponsored me, it took six months. After that, I sponsored my daughter(18 years of age) who was then under student visa in Vancouver since 1999, it only took five months but I appointed a lawyer to do the job since I had no idea how to go about it.


Chicago, IL
1 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2007 :  00:39:05  Show Profile
Hopefully this is still being followed by some of the previous posters....


Would being granted a Work Permit be considered AIP?

I have read on CIC and in some posts about the 3 month delay in health care coverage after the PR process starts, but I'd like to find out if I am eligable for OHIP after I have been granted a work permit as well. I have a job opportunity in Toronto, and I will be applying for a Work Permit shortly. I want to find out about OHIP so I can determine if I will need to pay for health care coverage, or if I should be trying to negotiate that with my prospective employer. Thanks!

American Citizen looking to work in Toronto.


1195 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2007 :  19:03:29  Show Profile
Hi Jason,

Sorry for the late reply but somehow I didn't read your question until now.

If you are in Canada as a foreign worker holding a valid work permit, you will be eligible for OHIP coverage. There is still a 3-month waiting period for the coverage to kick in.

You'll find more information here:


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